Today in the United States, marijuana is legal to some capacity in 33 states. Other states are discussing legalization. We can expect marijuana laws for legalization to expand over the next several years.
Rapidly changing marijuana laws presents questions and challenges in the employment screening space. Many pieces of marijuana legislation include new employee protections that could impact the way you screen potential employees. To stay compliant with hiring and credit reporting laws, it is important to stay up to date with state regulations.
In today’s blog, we’ll give an overview of the most recent laws protecting employees in regards to marijuana. If your state is not included, now is a good time to adapt to nationwide trend. This allows you to get ahead of the game in case your state passes marijuana laws.
Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act
In January 2020, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana. Part of the law that allowed for recreational marijuana included the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. In other words, employers cannot punish them for using marijuana outside of work.
Essentially, Illinois employers cannot fire or refuse to hire an individual because they use marijuana in their free time. This doesn’t mean employers cannot run drug tests on candidates or employees, but the results of marijuana tests are not grounds for termination.
Pre-employment Drug Screening in New Jersey, Nevada, and New York City
New Jersey, Nevada and New York City have all passed similar measures in the past year regarding drug screening and employment. This means employment refusal or termination cannot be based on marijuana screening results.
New Jersey’s ruling specifically applies to those who use medical marijuana. An employee being fired for a positive drug test even though they were using marijuana for medical reasons which led to the passing of this law. The employee sued their employer for not accommodating their medical needs. Now, with the exception of jobs that require lots of safety precautions, employers cannot discriminate against those who use medical marijuana.
Additionally, in Nevada and New York City employers can run pre-employment drug screenings, but those screenings cannot include marijuana. Bypassing marijuana screening eliminates the possibility of hiring teams discriminating against those who use marijuana. There are exceptions to these regulations for safety-conscious positions.
If you think your business may be affected by these new laws or if you want to plan ahead, reach out to One Source. We can help you tailor your drug screening and hiring process to your local mandates.